This crazy world – The lonely girl
By Reviveology in Islamic Feminism, Life, Women in Islam On 28-03-2014
It was a personal passion she had. A desire to try and come closer to the truths of life. All woman was she; pure female, sensitive and spiritual with heart. Read all the good books and ate all the right foods. Went to the gym and did yoga and all the aromatherapy things. But still, beyond it all, she was still lost.
She had lost herself in the chaos of each day. She believed in good and talked to God regularly about her affairs. She had nice friends but still, things weren’t total, and whole, and all there.
Her religion was Islam, and she loved the sweet stories about the companions of the last Prophet (Pbuh). They were kind and compassionate and fair. Folk from a different time. But still, she hadn’t found herself.
When would she find herself? Herself : was hidden.
She was a busy and successful commercial journalist in a ruthless world. A world she often felt bemused by. Designed by men, for men. From the size zero mannequins, to the shapes of their clothes. From the practical expectations of what she was supposed to be, to the rational thoughts on what she was supposed to feel. And as she would come home each day, fatigue would embed itself in her brain. A brain so confused with what she should say and do; and how she was supposed to find solace out of it all. This crazy world…and this lonely girl.
Death. Always dreaded…never as much as now. She had played the game of time that we all know of. When you say ‘later’ to every command of Allah. ‘Later’, till ‘later’ never comes.
From the inside she had done everything she had to do for the love of God. But she still couldn’t come close to the dress code. She couldn’t wear ‘it’. It was something she could see no logic to. If something is beautiful why not be proud of it? Show it. If you’ve got it, flaunt it. But was that all? Well, no. Not really. She hated the thought of men telling her to conceal. They shouldn’t be looking anyway; should they?
But it was the will of God, not men, that she should wear it. Wasn’t it? The troops of angels protect those who follow the will of God. Is that why covering sisters were so confident and at peace? Radiant in their all. And didn’t she want to bask in the fragrance of Paradise? She didn’t want to follow the advice of the beloved last Prophet (Pbuh) . This one great person who she’d adored since always for teaching the men of today to treat her respectfully…as a person of worth. And doesn’t the Creator always know what’s best for His creation? Just as the manufacturer knows how the product works best.
He doesn’t go half way: He never gives food and no drink; a right eye and no left. So how could she be so unreciprocating of His love? Why couldn’t she try to do her best to get in His good books for the pleasure and peace of the next life?
Looking outside, the ranks had been decided by men; there was an artificial stairway to what they presumed to be success. Ruthless was society and the work place. They all wanted the best positions, the biggest houses, the nicest lifestyles. But had Allah not made a spiritual stairway to His station of true success? Harder to climb, but forever worth it. Being sincere in pleasing God. Just a piece of cotton over the hair.
But how would she face them at work? In her face. On her space. They’d ask her about it and what would she say? But, it was her body, wasn’t it? Did they own these fine beautiful summer dyed locks? All the liberalism; all the feminism. Democracy? Why did she not feel fulfilled, as they promised she should?
Would they stand up for her on that day? At the end of the day, when the day was done, all would be too concerned about themselves. And anyway, this was her life; her test. Was she really going to fall short in her final moment for them? Or was she not tough enough? Thus the awkward hatred for the weakness inside her grew stronger. She prayed the hatred wouldn’t eat itself up like cancerous cells…so that there was nothing left of her conscience inside her on Judgement Day.
That awful frightening day when she would have to talk to God. Couldn’t she just say it should be glossed over in light of all her good deeds? Or could she? On that awful horrific day. When sirens go off and the world starts to stop. It was too much. No, just ignore it. That is…it was…this whole hijab thing. Just a minor…a minor part of belief. Didn’t want to think about it…confront it…nor address it. An issue? Not yet anyway. And anyway..anyway, she wasn’t sixty years old yet! There was time enough to come to it; to change; do it for the right reasons.
Fatigue. Fatigue on the brain. In the brain. Around the brain. Fatigue; embedded. A lump still and lifeless. Hard, heavy and dull. Thud, thud, thud, thud…pounding the headache of the lifeless lump on her brain. Fatigue…
Heavy was her head. So much so that she kicked off her heels, flicked off the light, set the alarm for morning prayer, and fell back onto her bed.
The restless body drifted smoothly into a peaceful sleep, but the mind was alive like a dragon wandering into the depths of experiences and long forgotten faces. Face of men. Men she’d wanted to marry, or rather wanted to marry her, but as soon as they’d asked her to wear it, she’d run like the white glaze of lightning. Quickly, swiftly…far away. Men preaching to her. Or were they teaching her? They spoke so softly with so much concern and compassion. But she could’t bear any comment on her invisible head scarf. “But sister,” they would say “this is the better way to simplicity, beauty and freedom ”. Conditional love and acceptance? Frozen was the tongue. Why couldn’t they understand? Or did she herself not comprehend? Her intellectual suicide suffocated her psyche. The rationale was fine, but her heart couldn’t commit. She had questions, and comments, and issues to raise. With her lightning quick mind and her childlike heart. She wanted to discover and touch the hidden colours of truth.
Thud, thud, pound. Suddenly pain swept away the mind from the soul, and the body jerked. Awakening in pain. All through her body. And vomit. Choking and vomiting; writhing in agony. The sushi business lunch. The raw ill prepared fish…food poisoning. “Oh no,” wailed the fear that lunged in the throat. Childlike fear. All black in colour and deathly in tone. She re-felt the lost child she’d always been. Always on the playground alone. But this time filled with the fear of the darkest of bullies who would destroy her.
And in the battle of sickness and desperation, she knew that the ghost of death had knocked at last on her door. She knew, because she knew. A door she’d tried so hard to bolt and lock with combination keys called ‘logic’ and ‘freedom’. And only He that gave, could re-give it now.
“Allah!” She agonized. “Only you can save me now.” The prospect of dying overtook and shook her with fear and petrification of all depths and proportions. And as the tears rolled and became streams on the mountains of her cheeks, she though of her arrogance and demons. Her sins and mistakes. Her guilt and her shame. And it all concocted together into a potent force, as reckoned with the forces of nature and destruction in their final farewell.
“Oh Allah!” she pleaded. Embarrassed and ashamed. So arrogant was I in telling you when I would die. Playing for time. Never thought this is the way I’d come undone. Please take the spasms of the agony away, and let me live just another day. And she pleaded that she’d do all that she said she would for the love of God…and the good. And the prayers went on. Lasted through the night and well into day.
And the prayers were answered, and the pain subsided. And the next day she awoke. Reborn. Full of gain. With a hijab on her head. She smiled, and began life again.
And these words that you read are this experience’s stain. And till the next time in my literature…I pray you listen yet again.
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